access to MLS

6 Replies

How crucial is this?  Put differently, is the information really that much different than the public info?  I can see most sales history if I look at both Trulia and Zillow (they are both spotty, but usually list enough different properties to give me an idea of sales data).  Is it illegal or unethical to approach realtors I don't know well and ask?  How does one go about doing that without it sounding like a bribe or drug deal?  I hinted to my realtor and got the run around about how he pays tens of thousands of dollars in overhead for the privilege of being a realtor.  I thought about just taking the test, but I have no interest in having to pay brokerage fees etc.  Any advice?  Thanks 

Zillow and Trulia have gotten much better over the years, they used to be a joke but I guess they have learned over the years. But nothing is 100% as good as the MLS, but you can still do deals with 90%, or 80%... or less of the MLS.

I have been licensed in Texas and Oklahoma and finally let them lapse, I got first license in Texas, a non-disclosure state, where if you don't have the MLS, you don't have anything... to Oklahoma, where I live now, where they have a transfer tax so sales prices are public knowledge and 3rd parties love to sell it, and the counties publish it for free!

I guess what you get, that is not public record, is seller's info on expired listings, how many times the listing was renewed (1 month on the market, but expired 2 years since) and other data that only the Realtor's know like personal info the sellers share and some agents put in the listing.

Now when approaching agents, they are traditional and proud of themselves. Its against their code to give you access to the MLS, so even if you ask for pieces of it, you are in a grey area.

And if you take them up on the free stuff (which they offer to potential sellers ONLY in hopes of getting a listing)... they will see a waste of time and not want to give you the free stuff that was designed to make them commissions.

If you want the MLS, jump through their hoops and get it, otherwise you don't need it. Most motivated sellers don't list, or it already expired, and most of my deals came from my own marketing, not the MLS.

thanks for the good info. I've never done direct marketing because in the past few years, I could do alright on the MLS. I just assumed that if a seller were motivated, they would already have their property listed. I struggle with the idea that there are groups of people out there desperate to sell their houses way under market, yet they have made no move to do so. But I guess that's where the gravy is, and as you said, they are out there. I just have to change gears. I guess my worry is that even if I find these people, I'm not sure what to, I want to buy your I'm the kind of person who needs to see something done a time or two to get it.

No, you are still in the "house" mode, deals are made in the "people" mode. They respond to you and say, "i have a problem, this %&#% house is a burden in my life." You say, "I can solve your problem" They are happy to give you the burden and you just made a good deal! for cheap, or with financing!

People are not thinking "I need to sell my house, so I should contact an agent" they think, because it won't leave their mind "this *(&*&* house is a problem in my life, and... oh look, someone can solve my problem...

marketing is key to any business, even Realtors have to market their services to get sellers.

And even if they list, and it expires, there can be a deal there. I responded to a classified ad, sent the seller a follow up letter after talking to him on the phone, and 6 months later, when the listing after talking to me expired, he contacted me for my lease option plan. I filled the house over the weekend and made $$ over 3 years until it refi'd out.

Get your license and get access

Get a non licensed realtor assistant license and get access

Hire a realtor in your investment co LLC and list as a member and get access

Here in Washington State, we have some great RE companies that give full access to MLS listings (except pocket listings) in hopes of selling product. No charge. One site is There are others and may be some in your area.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here